Kimberley C. Patton

Kimberley C. Patton
Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion

Contact information

617.496.3395
Andover 502
Robin Lee
617.496.8508

Education

  • AB, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges
  • AM, PhD, Harvard University

Profile

Kimberley Patton specializes in ancient Greek religion and archaeology, with research interests in archaic sanctuaries and in the iconography of sacrifice. She also teaches in the history of world religions, offering courses in cross-cultural religious phenomenology. These comprise ritual studies, the mythology of natural elements, religious art and iconoclasm, the interpretation of dreams, animals in religion and myth, ritual weeping, material holiness, angels and angelology, and funerary cult. She is involved in the ongoing discussion in the academy of the goals and methods of comparative study. In the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, she serves as a member of the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology, the Standing Committee on Archaeology, and the joint FAS/HDS Standing Committee on the Study of Religion. Her latest book, Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (Oxford, 2009), won the 2010 American Academy of Religion Book Award for Excellence in Religious Studies in the Analytical-Descriptive category. She is also the author of The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (Columbia, 2006). She is co-editor of and contributing author to three other books: with Benjamin Ray, A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age (University of California Press, 2000); with John Stratton Hawley, Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination (Princeton, 2005); and with Paul Waldau, A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics (Columbia, 2006). Her latest research project, on the ritual dimensions of maternal mortality in a Neolithic burial at the site of Çatalhöyük in Central Anatolia, Turkey, will be forthcoming as a chapter co-authored with forensic archaeologist Lori Hager in Vital Matters: Religion in the Organization and Transformation of a Neolithic Society, ed. Ian Hodder (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Current and future courses

Selected publications

  • Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (Oxford University Press, 2009) Publisher page
  • The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (Columbia University Press, 2006) Publisher page
  • A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics (Columbia University Press, 2006) Publisher page
  • Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination (Princeton University Press, 2005) Publisher page
  • A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age (University of California Press, 2000) Publisher page

Media expertise

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